We love the earthly sensibility of creating a salad using living lettuce – which still has its roots – even if you’re buying it from your local grocer.
Paired with sweet, punchy shallot rings and a versatile vinaigrette, this is the type of salad you can whip up in minutes and serve every day.
How to Make It
- 2 large heads of living butter or boston lettuce
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 tsp granulated sugar or honey
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp white or champagne vinegar
- Pickling liquid from pickled shallots
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
- Chive blossoms (optional)
- Trim roots off each head of lettuce, leaving stems intact. Fill sink with very cold water. Dunk and gently swish each head of lettuce in water, stem-sides up, to rinse away any dirt or grit. Repeat until no dirt remains at bottom of sink. Soak lettuce in fresh water to crisp up, about 15 minutes.
- Gently separate shallot rounds into rings. Add sugar, salt, and 1 tbsp hot water to a small bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add shallots and vinegar, then stir to combine. Cover and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Spin each head of lettuce in a salad spinner until very dry. Place one head of lettuce on a cutting board, stem-side up. Use a small knife to remove core, keeping leaves as intact as possible. Place a large round platter over stem end, then invert. Repeat with remaining lettuce and a second platter. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Drain pickled shallots over a jar, set pickled shallot rings aside for serving. Add Dijon, garlic, and oil to the jar with pickling liquid. Season with pepper, then seal tightly. Shake vigorously until vinaigrette is emulsified and smooth.
- When ready to serve, gently loosen lettuce leaves, maintaining their shape as much as possible. Nestle shallot rings between leaves, then drizzle vinaigrette over top. Garnish with chives and chive blossoms, if using.
How to Store It
Dijon vinaigrette will keep well in an airtight container, refrigerated up to 1 month.